Graduating seniors Carrie Kromer and Lakijai Bynum are honored by the President's Commission for the Status of Women.
Nancy Skobel (left), associate dean for Student Affairs and chair of the President's Commission for the Status of Women; Lakijai Bynum, graduate Student of the Year; Carrie Kromer, undergraduate nontraditional Student of the Year; and President Geraldine M. Jones.
Two students who have had a profound impact on women at California University of Pennsylvania were honored by the President’s Commission for the Status of Women at a luncheon on Dec. 7 in the Performance Center.
Carrie Kromer, a nontraditional undergraduate student, and Lakijai Bynum, a graduate student, were each named Student of the Year, an award given by the commission to women who are dedicated to Cal U, successful personally and professionally, and supportive of women on and off campus.
Both are scheduled to graduate on Dec. 14-15.
"It’s a privilege to acknowledge these wonderful women, who create a positive campus environment,” said President Geraldine M. Jones. “They are strong role models for our students.”
Kromer, majoring in business administration with a concentration in management and a minor in finance, is a community manager for the Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union. She also is the auditor for Luzerne Township, Pa.
She partnered with Cal U Women United — a student organization that helps women develop academic skills, social awareness, civic engagement, personal responsibility and leadership abilities — on a program focusing on financial issues for women in abusive relationships as part of domestic violence awareness month.
“I think it’s extremely important for women to know about financial matters and be able to be strong and independent in all aspects of their lives,” Kromer said.
“Being able to assist students with financial health questions in order to help them make better financial decisions and hopefully not make bad choices has become one of my professional passions.”
Kromer brings a “been there, done that” mentality toward money management that comes from experience.
“I enjoy sharing anything I may have learned along the way with students — don’t make the same mistakes I did!” she said.
Cal U Women United is special to Bynum, who is majoring in business administration with a concentration in health care management. She is the organization’s graduate adviser and was a member of its executive board as an undergraduate.
She is the graduate student representative on the Student Association Inc. board, and she is a residence hall director for Carter Hall and Residence Hall E.
In 2017, Bynum earned bachelor’s degrees in business administration and sociology and associate degrees in liberal studies and technical studies. She is an assistant manager at PSECU.
As an undergraduate, she was treasurer and executive board member of the Black Student Union, a Peer Mentor, and treasurer and executive board member for the Young and Gifted Gospel Choir. She was Cal U’s Homecoming Queen in 2016.
“I never thought I would ever be so involved and make an impact on this campus,” she said. “Cal U Women United is an amazing organization of minority women who uplift and empower all women of color. The bond of sisterhood and friendship that motivates and encourages each and every one does not go unnoticed.”